Making a Comeback?
There is the possibility that streetcar service may be returning to Denver in the near future. Many proposals have been generated by private firms, and even the City of Denver seems to have joined that mix with development projections that include the reintroduction of trolley routes.
For now, the most likely place for new service would be the current D-Line light rail north of 18th Street to 30th & Downing. The reason for converting from light rail to streetcar would be to minimize damage done to the Five Points neighborhood when the line is extended further north. See the Community page for more articles and further discussion of this topic.
16th Street Mall in July 2006
Another possible location would be along Colfax Avenue, where there is currently a corridor long revitalization program in progress. The buses that replaced the original streetcar line along Colfax are the most crowded lines in the city today. The East Colfax Plan is a comprehensive look at the ideas being proposed here for everything from building height to transit.
The final option would run along Broadway from the Civic Center to I-25. There is no comprehensive plan for this section of the city, although it is considered an “area of change” by the city planning office. The Broadway line was at one time the busiest in all of Denver.
Historic Tramway Power building after conversion to retail, December 2006
The following links are helpful for anyone trying to find more information on what is being proposed where and what factors planners and developers look at to decide a proposal can be put into action.
Downtown Multimodal Access Plan (December 14, 2005)
The East Colfax Plan (2004)
Westword story about Colfax streetcar (July 20, 2006)
Denver Streetcar Plan: Proposed by Adam Krom (April 13, 2001)
Partnerships in Transportation: Transit-oriented Development – The Return on Investment by David M. Taylor